Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What Matters to Faculty?

A press release issued today by the Harvard Graduate School of Education reports that New Study Indicates Faculty Treatment Matters More Than Compensation; Survey of 4,500 Tenure-Track Faculty Reveals Surprising Findings:

A new study by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), a research project based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has revealed that climate, culture, and collegiality are more important to the satisfaction of early career faculty than compensation, tenure clarity, workload, and policy effectiveness.

The survey of 4,500 tenure-track faculty at 51 colleges and universities discovered that there are key climate variables for junior faculty, such as: interest senior faculty take in their work, fairness with which they are evaluated, opportunities to collaborate with senior faculty, how well they seem to fit in their departments, sufficient professional and personal interaction with colleagues, and a sense of community in the department. The survey revealed that collegiality matters much to the success and satisfaction of new scholars, in stark relief to studies of an earlier generation that showed autonomy was one of the most important attractions to academic life.

The study is Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education Highlights (Sept. 25, 2006).

Today's Insider Higher Ed reports on the gender differences found by the study in the differing perceptions of the clarity of tenure standards among men and women (on a scale of 1 (very unclear) to 5 (very clear)).


The Clarity Gap, by Scott Jaschik.

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